The story behind media bias in AP after YSRCP came to power


It is a common fact that every media house, except a few, takes a political stand and leans towards a certain political party depending on the stakes of their success in the business.

In the Telugu States too, that has been the case. But, there has been something internally brewing since the last one year after the YSR Congress government came to power in Andhra Pradesh. 
The negative propaganda against the Opposition, Telugu Desam Party, has increased. This was an expected move. But, what is interesting is that there is no negative coverage of the government’s shortcomings in any of the media outlets, neither in English media or vernacular press. 
Let us take the Amaravati farmers’ protests for example. With Jaganmohan Reddy-government deciding AP should have three capitals, the farmers who voluntarily donated land for Amaravati were left high and dry, when YSRCP government decided to make Vizag the executive capital. Ever since, over 200 days have passed since farmers’ agitation for justice. The media did not give this issue a significant coverage despite many farmers now remaining landless, following the government ill-thought-out move.
Similarly, when COVID cases began spiking across the world, Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy himself stated in the media that “it was just a flu and taking a paracetamol” would clear a person of Coronavirus. This news by a CM was a slip of tongue that wasn’t covered in the mainstream media and was brushed aside as being misunderstood by people. 
In the Vizag gas leak tragedy too, the media, which by now has clearly shows pro-YSRCP signs across the board, published reports that mislead people into believing that government was working towards catching the culprits while actually the CM had an alleged “closed deal” with the management to skirt the issue. While victims still await justice from the government, the whole tragedy was looked as a bad publicity exercise by YSRCP instead of being dealt with an iron fist as lives were lost due to the gas leak.
And, again, in the whole fiasco of removing Nimmagadda Ramesh as State Election Commissioner (SEC), the High Court and recently, the Supreme Court fumed at the Jagan government for behaving irrationally. Yet, the media in the Telugu states chose to not report on the Supreme Court directive of asking the state government to reinstate Ramesh as the SEC. 
All these incidents and many more goof-ups clearly indicate that the YSRCP has ensured that it pays media houses handsomely to manage them from publishing negative news about their government. Not only does this stop there, they have even gone ahead to use the same machinery to spread fake news and create bitter propaganda about any opposing force in the state. Even to the extent of threatening arrests and action against the opposing voices. 
With fear and intimidation, the current government is successfully thwarting every voice that raises against the ruling party. But, the YSRCP also needs to remember that we go for elections every 5 years and that it is not going to be a permanent thing. Therefore, the sooner the politicians from the ruling party remember this, the better it is. Otherwise, the scales can tilt at any point. 

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